By: Major Joanne Holz, Director, School for Leadership Development
Are you a clock watcher?? There are certainly some occasions when we watch the clock and time drones on. You are heading on to a big trip but have to finish work first; you are looking forward to a celebration and time seems to stand still; you are waiting for someone to come out of surgery or to overcome an illness and time marches ever so slowly.
The Jewish nation had not heard from a prophet in over 400 years! Generation after generation after generation became less and less convinced that God would intervene to act on their behalf. Only a handful of people waited expectantly for a move of God. Matthew tells us that Anna and Simeon watched and waited faithfully in the Temple, praying for the coming of Messiah. Even those who had any hope at all thought that their hope would be in national liberation.
Mark succinctly records Jesus’ message—a message that would take three years to instill, to ingrain in his disciples and centuries to be lived out. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
At the very least, the time is fulfilled reminds us that God is faithful and keeps His promises. It also helps us to understand that God is never without plan or purpose. The time is fulfilled means that the ‘word of God stands secure in the heavens!’ The kingdom of God is His word fulfilled. A new reign, a new king, a new realm, a new possibility for individual lives and a new people of God will now be formed. This people, these individuals will live under the rule of Jesus in community and out of hearts learning to love.
How is this possible? Repent and believe. Turn loose of all you thought was secure. Let go of old, stale, unproductive—even harmful—ways of living life and take on the Life of the Son. Believe this King is able and willing to provide for his people. Believe that this King loves his people can transform their hearts.
Repentance and belief precede Jesus’ next invitation! “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” The plan and purpose of God continue….and through those who repent, believe and follow. When we repent and believe there is an immediacy about our following. It is as if the blinders fall off and we view life with Jesus as the only way to live. With him, through him, by him, in him…LIFE!
Clock watching won’t help us! Walking in God’s plan and purpose brings fulfillment and purpose to our own lives.